That’s The Spirit


Two seconds into the game the tone was set. Shawn Thornton, who would end up with two goals and earn 1st Star of the game for his scoring and his emotional lift, went toe to toe with Eric Boulton in a great, epic bout right on the spoked B at center ice. Everybody in the building knew it was going to happen. Boulton sure did. He had his helmet strap on so tight he’s lucky he wasn’t asphyxiated.

Much later would come the real highlight of the game. After the B’s had built a solid 4-1 lead and, with under 5 minutes to go in the game, Freddy Meyer came up high on a hit on Milan Lucic and Andrew Ference jumped in to defend his teammate. All hell broke loose and and old time line brawl ensued.

Lucic is going to be in trouble for what he did there, no doubt. Meyer’s hit was questionable and Lucic was looking for blood but there’s little doubt the NHL will take a harsh view of his actions there. He explains, however, that there’s a history behind it and that his retribution against Meyer were not a result of this one high hit. Regardless of his punishment, he’s hopeful the fire the team showed will carry over.

“It was a high hit for sure. I was bleeding from the lip and after a hit like that…I mean that was the second time he has done that. He’s hit me late. He’s hit me cheap. Now that’s the second time. I mean, you can’t give a guy a free pass too many times, but I’m happy that we stuck together as a group and as a team.

“You say you haven’t seen it in a while. The last time it happened here was against Dallas two years ago. We kind of took off and won twenty-two of our next twenty-four games. So hopefully the guys feel pretty good about the big win tonight. For me personally it’s a match penalty, so I will do whatever I can to face the consequences.”

There will be consequences, no doubt. The league might attempt to ensure Lucic doesn’t play next week when these two teams meet again by giving him a multiple game suspension. In the minds of many, however, it will all be worth it. Let’s be honest, the B’s needed a game like this badly. People who don’t understand hockey might think it all a bit brutal but this kind of thing can be great medicine for a slumping team. If they take it to heart.

It was good to see Nathan Horton swinging away with Evander Kane. Marc Savard has to be insane for engaging like that with no helmet on. Ference seemed unfazed by the blood.

All in a day’s work.

Can’t wait to see next Thursday’s rematch.


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